The Chase Churn is Over

For years frequent flyers got mileage-rich signing up for the United Visa fee-free the first year, scoring the signup bonus, cancelling, and then signing up again. Chase, which issues the card, finally closed that opportunity.

However, lesser known to the frequent flyer universe, other Chase cards could continue to be ‘churned’ — the Priority Club, Marriott, British Airways, and Southwest Visas, for instance.

That appears to be no more. There are confirmed reports with the British Airways and Priority Club Visas that Chase is sending repeat cardmembers a letter saying that they won’t be getting the signup bonus miles. I assume this extends to all Chase products, or at least to all Chase mileage products.

It’s a sad day, indeed. Chase joins American Express at (quite reasonably) refusing to give out signup bonuses more than once, although the small quirk with Amex is that if you sign up for a more lucrative offer than in the past I’ve seen them give out the difference between the new and old offers as a signup bonus the second time.

Citibank’s American Airlines credit card products can still be churned however. The personal and business Mastercards are quite churnable, and I assume that the American Express (issued by Citi and not Amex) and the Visa are as well. So that’s several hundred thousand miles in potential bonuses a year, all with first year free offers.

The Bank of America products have always been churnable — the USAirways Visa (soon to go away), the Alaska Visa, and the Hawaiian Visa are the ones that come to mind. Bank of America doesn’t frequently offer fee-free years at signup, however.

I have seen reports that the USAirways Mastercard from Juniper Bank is churnable. Now that I’m past my first year (with the very lucrative first year bonuses) and well into my second fee-free year, I’ll probably try it in the coming months myself — if only to see if I can get another first year of 50% bonues on all spend, signup miles aside.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I believe that with Amex (and this is based on experience with the DL amex) if you have your account closed for 1 full year (12 month period, not a calendar year), you can sign up for a new account & they’ll give you the bonus miles. I’ve done it with the DL Amex & the DL Biz Amex.

  2. Doesn’t your credit rating fluctuate wildly though? Won’t this be a factor when you want to buy property? How many credit cards do you carry, total?

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